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    "I've Been Married For Over 34 Years, And My Husband Still Doesn't Know How To Give Me An Orgasm": People Are Sharing The Aspects Of Marriage They Wish They'd Prepared For Before Tying The Knot, And It's Eye-Opening

    "I would have liked to have known more about sex, specifically orgasms. I've been married for over 34 years, and my husband still doesn't know how to give me an orgasm, and I don't know how to educate him. Sex has been very disappointing."

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the the things they wish they'd known before getting married. The responses were filled with every good, bad, and ugly facet of marriage imaginable. Here are the most insightful lessons learned:

    Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe drinking and sitting on the couch in wedding dresses

    1. "Speaking as somebody who had a whirlwind romance, got married fast, then got divorced, but is now engaged again to my ex-husband (yes, it's one heck of a story!), I can't stress enough how much work goes into a successful relationship. It doesn't matter who you're with. We trial and errored a lot of partners during our time apart, but both came to realize that we didn't truly put in the effort the first time around, and that's why it didn't work. We've both grown and learned a lot over the years. I'm not saying it's the same for everyone, but I'm really hopeful for our second-chance marriage."

    hellomiriah

    2. "I wish I knew how freaking expensive a divorce is. I wasn't 100% sure about marrying him. I liked the idea, but ignored the red flags. I just thought, OK, give it a try. You can still get divorced. Of course, it didn't last very long. The divorce costs really hit me hard. They ate up my savings. So, if you're not 100% sure, save yourself some time, stress, and money, and skip the marriage thing."

    kaa

    a person signing a document that has wedding rings sitting on it

    3. "There is no rule that says you must combine finances. If I could go back, I would keep our finances separate, and we would sit down however often to go over the upcoming joint payments. If he had managed his own money, he would've had no choice but to be involved in our finances, and I would've also had money of my own to rely on when he decided to leave me."

    —Anonymous

    4. "I think what surprised me most was that being married and living together doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll automatically spend loads of quality time together. My husband and I went from a long-distance relationship to getting married (a bold step, but three years in and we’re still very happy), so before marriage, we had to scrupulously plan our time together. I figured it would be completely different once we got married and were living together. Turns out between different work schedules, combined and separate social lives, and family, you still have to plan quality time together."

    "The whole 'date night' concept is a bit cringey to me, but it's genuinely important. Spend it how you want to. It doesn't have to be fancy! Ours often means a glass of wine and some stupid video games!"

    —Anonymous

    thumbtacks on a calendar

    5. "Considering I got married three days after turning 22 and am now divorced, there's a lot I wish I'd known. For starters, they don’t 'change' after marriage. Not for the better, anyway. If it bothers you before the wedding, resolve it or find someone else. Flaws only magnify after marriage. Next: You marry the family. If you can’t stand the family but your partner has a really close relationship with them, it’s probably not going to work out because more often than not, they will take their family’s side, and you’ll be expected to acquiesce every time."

    "For women: 100% watch how he treats his mother, but almost more importantly, watch how HIS FATHER treats his mother. I wish I had done that. Men will often treat their mother better than their spouse, so if his father is crappy to his mom, there’s a good chance he will be crappy to you because that’s the behavior he grew up with. My ex-husband insisted he wasn’t like his dad, but the second we said our vows, I was cleaning and cooking everything while still working, and he demanded respect from me. I would come home at 7 p.m. to him playing video games and the first thing out of his mouth after the obligatory greeting would be, 'What’s for dinner?' He’d get mad at me when the house wasn’t clean enough, even though we BOTH worked full-time jobs. It was ALL the things his dad did to his mom. Not saying 'like father, like son' is a guarantee, but if his dad is lousy to his mom, you better make ABSOLUTELY sure the apple fell FAR from the tree."

    jigsawkt

    6. "Everyone will have opinions! My husband and I did all the wedding planning ourselves, but it was shocking how many random acquaintances and distant relatives thought it was reasonable to give their unsolicited opinions on everything. We seriously got a call from someone after our invites went out saying they didn't like the font we used to address the envelopes. Um, okay? The wedding turned out beautiful though, and it was totally worth all the drama!"

    —Anonymous

    a wedding invitation

    7. "Honestly? How fun marriage can be if you like and respect each other. It took me by surprise, and now I’m so grateful. There’s so much out there about how hard marriage is and how much work it takes, which can be true, but it tends to overshadow what a joy it can be as well. And, if you remember that you’re both on the same team, it really helps with the inevitable hard stuff because you have each other’s backs!"

    —Anonymous

    8. "Changing your name is THE WORST. It’s so much work, and it all requires you to be in-person. Social security office, driver's license, passport, bank accounts, all of it."

    —Anonymous

    sign pointing to where to get a driver's license

    9. "The whole thing shifts from a relationship to a partnership. It's you and them against the world. Cheesy as it sounds, for better or for worse, remember that you are on the same team working toward the same goal. We were long distance for a good five years before getting married, and to make a long story short, that time allowed me to accomplish a lot of things for myself and helped me keep my individuality. The same goes for my husband. That being said, we're definitely figuring out how to achieve individual goals while knowing every move either of us makes will directly impact the other person. That's where teamwork comes in."

    "We're only two years in, and so far we're faring by working on one goal at a time and adjusting accordingly. You might not get what you want right away, but you're also not alone in the journey anymore."

    geschellemanuel

    10. "I would have liked to have known more about sex, specifically orgasms. I've been married for over 34 years, and my husband still doesn't know how to give me an orgasm, and I don't know how to educate him. Sex has been very disappointing."

    —Anonymous

    a person looking thoughtful on the edge of a bed as a partner sleeps

    11. "I’ve been married for 24 years, and there’s a few things I’ve learned over the years that I wish I’d known before we got married. Love changes. Sometimes it grows, and sometimes it diminishes, but it’s always present if you look for it. Being friends with your partner helps keep the hard times from being terrible. Keep the connection alive through date nights and shared hobbies and interests. And lastly, don’t let anyone tell you how your relationship should work! No friends, family, or coworkers actually know what’s going on between the two of you."

    tessaf4ffba4ed4

    12. "If you’re having issues before the wedding, they’ll only be magnified once you get married. Trust your gut and don't let family into your marital problems. I also wish I would’ve truly understood the difference between distracting myself with wedding planning vs. actually being excited."

    brelightyear

    a person planning a wedding

    13. "I wish I’d known that it’s not supposed to be difficult. I didn’t have a great example of a healthy relationship to emulate growing up, and every sitcom from the '90s and early '00s said you should merely tolerate your spouse. I was scared of marriage for a long time. But, if you partner with the right person and you have the right tools for healthy communication, marriage is pretty freaking easy. It’s just me and my best friend laughing and growing together. It isn’t supposed to be difficult. I wouldn’t have been as scared if I had known that."

    cq666

    14. "It’s okay to go to bed angry."

    —Anonymous

    a couple sitting in bed with crossed arms and looking in opposite directions

    15. "That you will spend the majority of your wedding running around. I barely got to enjoy mine, and I was exhausted. The pictures turned out nice though."

    —Anonymous

    16. "Pay attention to things like table manners and snoring. They might seem small now, but after thousands of meals eaten with music blasting to drown out chewing and teeth scraping sounds, and countless nights of lost sleep due to a snoring partner, these small things become huge."

    —Anonymous

    a person snoring and his partner with a pillow over their head

    17. "I wish I was more mature and had had better opportunities to make something of myself before getting married. Getting married at 17 (both of us) and CHOOSING to become parents was not a good idea, although we THOUGHT it was a great one at the time. Stupid us. Eventually, he left me for another woman. I was not financially able to continue my life as it was and had to live with relatives for five years. I moved seven times. The experience took a tremendous toll on me emotionally and financially, and it took 31 years to fully trust a man again. I would tell any girl who is under 20 to get an education and a job that could pay enough for her to live on her own because no one should be reliant on anyone else. Just listen to the advice given by those who have lived it. It could save you years of regret in the end."

    —Anonymous

    18. "People should figure out how big a role alcohol/weed/other substances are playing in their relationship. How many of your memories or planned activities together involve altering substances like alcohol, weed, or other drugs? Do you like who they are sober? Do you feel loved sober? Is there still passion when you're sober? Are you truly marrying your soulmate, or are you marrying a party buddy/enabler?"

    —Anonymous

    alcohol on a table

    19. "That getting married at an older age would be advantageous. Nearly all of my friends wed between the ages of 22 and 24. Meeting 'Mr. Right' when I was nearly 36 meant that both of us were secure in ourselves. The outcome has been an incredibly happy and peaceful marriage."

    —Anonymous

    20. "That I needed to keep my own separate money. No matter how much you love someone, you need to prepare for rough patches, if not in your marriage, then in your life. If there is an accident or unexpected illness, or god forbid, you two break up, you will need to start over. Trust me, once you break it off with anyone, the fair play/fair fight 'I thought you loved me!' and 'OMG, are you serious?' comes into play quickly when hurt feelings are involved. Also, you never want anyone in complete control over the other person, because even in marriage, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Sometimes your wonderful spouse gets to be bossy and possibly controlling."

    "You need to talk about finances, bank accounts, and fairly splitting assets during marriage. Stick to it, and no matter HOW HAPPY you are, GET A PRENUP and include primary home, the possibility for income property, second or vacation home or timeshare, cars, college tuitions, private schools, pets, sports or extracurricular activities, if you start a business or multiple businesses, etc. You don't love the person any less; it's just like having a living trust, except it protects things you didn't think about. Marriage is a partnership built on love, but clear communication is key."

    —Anonymous

    people signing a prenuptial agreement

    21. "I wish I had known that all those little things that annoyed us about each other would eventually turn into the big fights because we didn't address them beforehand."

    —Anonymous

    22. "Pay very close attention to their relatives' interactions before marrying. Your in-laws and partner's siblings are potentially the most toxic thing about your relationship with your partner. How your partner stands up to them for you can speak volumes about your marriage success rate."

    —Anonymous

    a couple disagreeing at a breakfast table with an in-law

    23. "Prior to getting married, give yourself time to see who you’re committing to. Wait for the disagreements to occur and the family dysfunction to be exposed. Watch how they handle difficult situations. I’m not saying focus on the negatives, but be careful of tying yourself to someone who appears perfect. Real relationships face hardships and have conflict. How do you two benefit each other? I wish I held out longer when it came to marrying my husband. You’d be surprised how many people marry without the intent to stay married."

    —Anonymous

    24. "I wish I'd known to run a more thorough background check, particularly financial. I thought knowing my fiancé's credit score would be enough, and because it was in the good to excellent range, I made the assumption that he was responsible with money. Big mistake! His good credit score was merely a product of keeping up with his payments, making them on time, and the longevity of his accounts. However, it turned out that he had A LOT of payments. He also had a lot of credit card and loan debt, which he thought I'd inherit and pay off when we got married. He had all the debt and I had none, and we were still in a bind when trying to purchase our first home. After years of not being on the same page financially, we ultimately divorced. Word of advice: If a person is not financially responsible before you get married, there is little to no chance they'll be more responsible once they say, 'I do.' There's nothing wrong with a prenup!"

    —Anonymous

    credit cards

    25. Finally: "It’s possible that your marriage will look and be different from day-to-day. What worked yesterday may not work today for you, your spouse, or the marriage. You’re dealing with a human being and a marriage that is, hopefully, continually growing, so you have to be flexible and adjustable. Treat each day as a new day, but still choose to love your spouse. It’s truly an adventure!"

    —Anonymous

    What's something you wish you'd known before you got married? Tell us in the comments.

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.